Returning looking for help and suggestions

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by holdingon, May 1, 2009.

  1. holdingon

    holdingon New Member

    I've been away from this forum for quite some time and am now returning hoping that I can get some advice on dealing with new challenges that have arisen with my now 9 year old difficult child who has ADHD, ODD and Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). She is doing extremely well in school, however things at home have escalated and I am having a lot of difficulty with her, especially as far as hygiene is concerned. She continues to have wetting accidents, already has a considerable amount of body hair, and is beginning to smell. She is being very resistant to regular bathing, is rewearing her clothes, and especially underclothes, and will not allow me to show her how to shave her underarms or apply deodorant. Any attempts so far have led to complete meltdowns and are making me reticent to follow through. She will be moving onto a new school after next year, and I fear that if we don't get this in check while she is still in the nurturing environment she is currently in, that it will become a major problem.

    Any ideas, approaches that have worked for you, or references you can send me to would be most greatly appreciated!!!

    I've found such warm reception here before, and hope that you all will be willing to reach out and help again.

    Thanks for listening and I look forward to your comments.


    Mom of 9 year old girl, with ADHD, ADD, ODD, and Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), currently non-medicated in a 12-1-1 class with a 1-1 para and receiving regular outside therapy, Occupational Therapist (OT) and PT. Currently reading and doing math above grade level and close to being pushed out for mainstream in two subjects next year.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Alice,
    nice to see you.
    I hate to advocate medicating, but since she's so stressed out about cleaning herself, she may need something to take the edge off.
    I'm sure you're already grabbing any clothes she leaves around and washing them, pronto!
    We often have our difficult child do his own laundry.

    This caught my attention: Any attempts so far have led to complete meltdowns and are making me reticent to follow through.
    Have you read THE MANIPULATIVE CHILD ? It basically points out that kids will do what they CAN do to make their own lives easier. They're not manipulating you to be manipulative in the adult sense, they're just doing what comes naturally. And in your case, it sounds like screaming, kicking and crying.

    You may have to put up with-that for a while until she learns you mean business. I've taken almost 2 hrs at times to get my son to shower. NOT fun! But he learned I would not back down. (I also called the principal and had her talk to him. He was SO embarrassed--which was my plan.)

    Bathing cannot be optional. It's only going to get worse, when she becomes a teen and is ostracized, or when she gets a job and gets fired.

    (If you haven't read anything by Temple Grandin, you would love it. She went through a lot of that in her early yrs.)

    We fought the "clean" battle, too, and still do. We had to bribe and punish (oh, wait, I think that's called carrot and stick, LOL!). Our difficult child developed very early, too. Ewwww! Quite the odor.
    And he hates socks, which wears out his shoes faster.
    He used to hate underwear but we really got on his case for that. The books say to stay calm and consistent, but that's one place where we'd hold up the (ew!) soiled pants and shout, "GROSS!!!!!"
    We finally got to the bottom (excuse the expression) of the fecal material in the pants, on the wall and on the toilet seat. He said he hated the feel of the toilet paper. (Why he couldn't verbalize that for umpteen kazillion yrs, I don't know.)
    We tried Wet Wipes and that helped a bit, and then we told him to take a shower every single time he used the toilet. He got sick of that in a hurry! We also told him it's more uncomfortable to get an infection in your rear than the feel the tissue down there, and somehow, that sank in.

    I would have your difficult child on a special diet to help with-the wetting accidents. She's most likely got some allergies. (I would bet on it.) Milk and gluten are the most common with-these kinds of kids.
    It's got to be very strict, so you have to monitor her friends' houses, especially sleepovers. (I am the mom from h*ll.)
    It worked wonders with-our difficult child, both in terms of wetting and soiling.
    Best of luck!
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Do you think she would use a deodorant product if you took her to the store to pick it out herself? There are some products that have little to no scent, and with her sensory issues, that might be what's getting in the way. If she doesn't like the feel of a spray or roll-on, you could try some body powder, perhaps.

    I think I would drop the underarm shaving issue until she's ready. That can wait and in my mind is not as noticeable as an odor issue.

    What about having her pick out "days-of-the-week" underwear? Maybe she could be persuaded to only wear them on the "right" days, which would give you a chance to wash them!

    If she's not liking to bathe, try to find out what exactly about it bothers her, or what might make it more appealing. Does she not like showers, or baths, or both? Could she try doing a sort of sponge-bath on herself? It's better than nothing...

    Have you tried medication for the ADHD at all? That could help with some of her sensory issues. I found that the case with my difficult child 1. As is typical with ADHD kids, he could not filter all the things in his environment that bombarded him every day and would get overwhelmed by textures, smells, sounds, you name it. Once we got him on the right stimulant dosage, he relaxed a lot about those things.